Jimi Hendrix remixes the National Anthem


Jimi Hendrix, who showed up late to the biggest concert in modern history, Woodstock of 1969, played the Star Spangled Banner in front of a crowd of mostly people under the influence of some illegal narcotic substance in the rain. Although the song wasn’t written in the 1960’s, or the 20th century for that matter, Jimi Hendrix gave a whole new meaning to the song when he performed it, while also under the influence of psychadelic drugs, quite unreservedly and unmelodically on electric slide guitar. Instead of placing their hand over their hearts in revently reflecting on the greatness of the union, the audience, which politically ranged from the fringe of the democratic party to those bunched into the category ‘left of Lenin’, either mocked the nationalist rituals, rolled their eyes back in a trip or both. This was what the offspring of the baby-boomer generation had become; pot-smoking unpatriotic fornicating slime, to paraphrase some of the more conservative commentary on the Woodstock concert. This song is about the United State’s fighting for its freedom in the war of 1812, yet when Hendrix played the tune in 1969 most in the audience thought of what that tiny north American republic had become; an evil empire with the grandest military machine ever witnessed by man, which was then reigning napalm down on civilian villages in the north Vietnam. So, by playing this song in the time and place he did, Hendrix gave the star-spangled banner a whole new meaning.

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